CHICAGO (CBS) — The Pullman Strike of 1894 is credited with launching the movement to create a national Labor Day holiday. Today – there’s a celebration on the site – now a National Monument on the Far South Side.
WBBM’s Steve Miller reports, the Labor Day celebration centered around one of the buildings on the site where George Pullman built his company and his adjoining town for workers.
The trouble started 122 years ago when the country went into recession and employees were paid less – but Pullman didn’t lower their rent.
“Originally Pullman Palace Cars were manufactured here.”
Sue Bennett is a park ranger at the Pullman National Monument.
“It was designed for the smaller wood-frame cars. And this was sort of near the end of their production.”
At the celebration is 80-year-old Alfonso Quiroz, who started working for Pullman in 1959, and worked there until the company folded in 1981.
“It was thrilling. Thrilling to look back and say, ‘Man, I built that car.’ And I see that car today running down the tracks.”